Bulletin #715









25 September 2016
Grenoble, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

A colleague, who was never a defender of Palestinian rights, recently announced to me that he thought Israel was a cancer that would destroy the world and the neo-liberal clique now running the American government, he thought, were the world’s new, ghoulish undertakers, preparing dead bodies for burial in oblivion.


Such extreme thinking is not unusual today and the ten-year, $38,000,000,000 gift that the US Congress recently bestowed on Zionist leaders, representing a 22% increase over past annual US extortion payments to Israel, was a largesse extended by the American people which also guaranteed US military-industrial expansion without much public discussion. Such opacity in US policy-making engenders suspicion in many quarters. Extreme right-wing bigots and racists can be counted among those who are willing to hunt down and destroy minorities of all descriptions, but the complicity of ordinary people in this activity begs for an analysis beyond the usual Hobbesien description of life as,  “nasty, brutish and short –a war of all against all.


With today’s precision technology, obfuscation of means to achieve illicit ends has reached new heights. The age-old question of  Who benefits?, however, is still a useful instrument for investigating crime.



In the first chapter of his book, Theories of Underdevelopment, Ian Roxborough clearly differentiates some of the central ideas of three early theoreticians whose interests coincided: to explain the historic transition from traditional societies to modern societies. Karl Marx (1818-1883), Max Weber (1864-1920) and Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) each focused on the rupture and discontinuities between old societies and the new. They all saw modern industrial society as a qualitatively new kind of society.


Weber emphasized how increasingly wider spheres of life were brought under control of rational thought.


This process of rationalization of the world meant that power was increasingly transferred out of the hands of traditional political leaders and into formal organizations which embodied rationality to a hitherto unknown degree –bureaucracies. Hand in hand with increasing rationalization went increasing bureaucratic domination. This was only one aspect of the process, the incumbents of bureaucratic roles could not set goals for themselves, they could only follow orders. There had to be some source of authority over and above the bureaucratic structures of domination. With the demise of the authority of traditional leaders, this position would increasingly be usurped by charismatic leaders, upstarts from the mass, unrestrained by the ties and duties of tradition or by the rational constraints of bureaucratic norms. Their actions would be increasingly unpredictable. Yet after these outbursts of wild energy, the forces of routinisation would reassert themselves. A successor to the charismatic leader would have to be selected, the following would be transformed into an organization, and bureaucratic routine, with its formal rationality, would once again come to fore. Modern society would witness an oscillation, a dialectic without development, between the long periods of bureaucratic routine and irrational outbreaks of charisma.(p.2)


Weber saw himself as a latter-day Jeremiah, a prophet of disaster to come; but he also explored in his analysis “the potentialities of human freedom which the new order opened up. His conclusions were deeply pessimistic.


Durkheim, on the other hand, offers a genuinely conservative critique of the same subject, the social transition from traditional to modern. His focus was on the dissolution of the traditional bonds of solidarity which bound people to each other in the tightly knit communities of pre-industrial society. As interpersonal bonds broke down in modern society, there was a progressive depersonalization of society and a person could no longer turn to authoritative institutions such as the Church for spiritual guidance.


The old sources of moral direction were in decay, and nothing had as yet replaced them. The soulless individualism of modern society could not cope with the problem of widespread anomie. Durkheim’s prescription was the creation of new institutions to replace the old sources of moral authority with new organic solidarity. He was one of the early corporatists theorists, and looked forward to a reintegration of human communities around the axis of corporatist guilds formed at the workplace. Anomie would give way to a new authoritative moral order. This solution was repugnant to Weber’s individualistic Protestantism and the Kantian emphasis on individual morality, but it did provide the basis for a major conservative critique of modern society.(3)


Like Durkheim, Marx was concerned by the absence of true community among people in industrial society. They both sought to overcome the state of alienation and create a truly human community, but where Durkheim envisaged total submission to a conservative and authoritarian corporatism in which the individual would be subordinated to the collectivity, Marx sought liberation of the individual in exactly the opposite direction.


Rather than receiving his moral guidance from authoritative institutions; liberated man would freely come together with his fellows to decide on a course of action. He would dominate social institutions, rather than be subordinate to them. This subordination, which for Durkheim was the solution to the problem of contemporary society, was for Marx yet another symptom of man’s alienation; the reification of interpersonal relations into the appearance of things-in-themselves.(4)


Marx, also like Weber, was impressed by the productive potential of capitalism, and they both were in agreement that it was only with the development of modern Europe that entire societies became dominated by the capitalist impulse. But Marx believed that the inherent growth dynamic of capitalism would create the conditions for its own demise.


The fundamental law of capitalist development, for Marx, was the imperative need to accumulate capital. In order to counteract the tendency of the rate of profit to fall in the long run, the ratio of capital to wages had continually to be increased. This produced through a series of business cycles which, in the short term, brought with them economic and political crises. The long-term trend was towards the massification of industrial establishments, the homogenization of the workforce, and its increasing impoverishment. These conditions would produce a constant class struggle between the workers and their employers, and over time, the working class would come to a realization that their only escape was to overthrow the existing society by seizing hold of the state apparatus, abolishing private property in the means of production, and beginning to form a new social order. The growing concentration and centralization of capital would itself aid this process.(5)


Whereas Weber saw capitalism as “an orientation towards economic activity, characterize by the rational (that is to say systematic and calculable) pursuit of economic gain by purely economic means,” which had existed in various forms throughout human history and prehistory, for Marx capitalism was not defined by the motives and orientations of capitalists; whatever capitalist believe their motives to be, they are impelled by the logic of the economic system to accumulate capital.


Capitalism for Marx was a form of class society structured around a particular way in which men were organized for the production of the necessities of life. It had been preceded in Europe by other forms of class society, in which the relationship between the class or classes of direct producers and the class of non-producers, and the relationship of both classes to the means of production, had been different. Immediately preceding capitalism in Europe had been feudalism, characterized by a direct and unmediated form of exploitation compared with industrial capitalism.


In feudal society, the direct producer, the peasant, had immediate access to land and to tools and implements with which to work the land. He was not separated from the means of production like the worker in capitalism. The feudal peasant was, however, required to work for the lord of the manor for a certain part of the week. This direct and unmediated form of exploitation was held in place by a particular state force, which included: a) laws restricting mobility; b) decentralized military and judicial apparatus giving each lord “supreme authority”; and c) ideological hegemony provided by the independent Church, which served as the justification and the cement for the social structure.(pp.5-6)


Weber saw the transition from traditional society to modern society essentially as a change in economic attitudes, in terms of the extension of rationality (partly as a secular trend, and partly as an unanticipated consequence of changes in religious doctrines), whereas Marx insisted that such changes occurred only through the auspices of class struggle, conducted by class-conscious actors who have strong reasons to refuse to submit and wish to achieve their articulated goals.(p.7)



The 15 items below offer CEIMSA readers descriptive information of contemporary corporate society and the inherent contradictions this structure inflicts each day on our collective lives, so badly battered by Zionism, Wahhabism and neo-liberalism.




Francis Feeley

Professor emeritus of American Studies

University Grenoble-Alpes

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego






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US Proxies and Regional Rivalries

US empire building depends on regional regimes’ support, especially in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

These proxy regimes fulfill valuable military roles securing control over neighboring regions, populations and territory.

by James Petras

September 20, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - In recent times, however, we witness the same proxies developing their own tendency toward expansionist policies - in pursuit of their own mini-empires.

Client regimes with local or regional ambitions now present Washington with new points of contention. At a time when the US empire has been forced to retrench or retreat in the face of its prolonged losses, a whole new set of conflicts have emerged. The post-imperial war zones are the new focus. Often, imperial client regimes take the initiative in confronting their regional adversaries. In other cases, competing proxies will brush aside their US ‘mentors’ and advance their own territorial ambitions.

The break-up of the US-dominated empire, far from ending wars and conflicts, will almost certainly lead to many local wars under the pretext of ’self-determination’, or ’self-defense’ or protecting one’s ethnic brethren - like Ankara’s sudden concern for the Turkmen in Syria.

We will examine a few of the most obvious case studies.

The Middle East: Turkish-Kurdish-Syrian Conflict

Over the past years, the Turkish regime has been in the forefront in the war to overthrow the secular nationalist Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

The Turks acted as proxies for the US - providing military bases, supplies, training and protection, as well as the point of entry, for overseas Islamist terrorist-mercenaries acting on behalf of Washington’s imperial ambitions.

As the ‘independent’ Islamist threat (ISIS) gained territory, targeting US objectives, Washington increasingly turned to its allied, mostly secular, Kurdish fighters. Washington’s Kurdish proxies took over territory from both the anti-US Islamists as well as the Syrian national government - as part of their own long-standing ethno-nationalist agenda.

Turkey saw Kurdish victories in northern Syria as a rallying point for autonomous Kurdish forces within Turkey. President Erdogan intervened militarily - sending tanks, warplanes and tens of thousands of troops into Syria, launching a war of extermination against the US-proxy Syrian Kurds! The Turkish invasion has advanced, taking Syrian territory, under the phony pretext of combating ‘ISIS’. In fact, Turkey has created a wide, colonial ’safe zone’ to control the Kurds.

The Obama regime in Washington complained but was totally unwilling to intervene as the Turks drove the Kurds out of their northern Syrian home in a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing. Thus, Turkish-Kurdish-Syrian warfare has broken out and the terms, conditions and outcome are well beyond US control.

The US quest for an imperial puppet regime in Syria has flopped: instead, Turkey gobbled up Syrian land, the Kurds resisted the Turks for national-self-determination instead of driving out the Islamist mercenaries and Damascus faces an additional threat to its national sovereignty.

This brutal regional war, started largely by the US and Saudi Arabia, will expose the extent to which the US-Middle East Empire has shrunk.

Asia: Japan, Vietnam, Philippine and China Conflict

The US Empire in Asia has seen the making and unmaking of proxy states. After WWII, the US incorporated Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand as proxy states in an effort to strangle and conquer China, North Korea and Vietnam.

More recently India, Vietnam and Myanmar have joined the US in its new militarist scheme to encircle China.

Central to the Obama-Clinton ‘Pivot to Asia’ is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a singular effort to ‘unify’ Asian nations under US control in order to isolate and diminish China’s role in Asia.

The original, post-WW2 proxies, South Korea, Philippines and Japan provided military bases, troops, material and logistic support. Vietnam, the newest ‘proxy-on-the-block’, welcomes Pentagon weapons aimed at China - despite the millions of Vietnamese deaths during the US war in Indochina.

While most of the Asian proxies continue to pay lip service to Washington’s ‘Sinophobic agenda’, many do so on their own terms: they are reluctant to provoke China’s economic wrath through Washington’s policy of direct confrontation. During the recent ASEAN Conference in Laos (2016), nations resisted Washington’s pressure to denounce China despite the ‘international court’ ruling against Beijing’s South China Sea maritime claims. The US’ ability to influence events through its Europe-based ‘international tribunals’ seems to have waned. The US cannot implement its own transpacific economic ‘blockade’ strategy (TPP) because of both domestic and external resistance. Meanwhile, new proxy relations have emerged.

The proxy-stooges in Tokyo face growing anti-proxy opposition from the Japanese people over their nation’s role as a glorified US airbase. As a result Tokyo carefully pursues its own anti-China strategy by forming deeper economic links to new or minor proxy states in Indo-China, the Philippines and Myanmar. In the course of developing its relations with these weaker proxy regimes, Japan is actually laying the ground for autonomous economic and military policies independent of the US.

Notably, the Philippines under its new President Duterte, seeks to accommodate relations with China, even as its neo-colonial proxy military relations with Washington remain in place. The Western media kerfuffle over Duterte’s ‘colorful’ language and ‘human rights’ policies masks Washington’s imperial disapproval with his independent foreign policy toward China.

While India grows closer ties with the US and even offers military co-operation with the Pentagon, it is signing even greater Chinese investment and trade agreements - anxious to enter the enormous China market.

In other words, Washington’s Asian proxies have (1) widened their own reach, (2) defined autonomous spheres of action and (3) have downgraded US efforts to impose trade agreements.

Symptomatic of the decay of US ‘proxy power’ is the ‘disinclination’ among Washington’s clients to express overt hostility to Beijing. In frustration, the Washington-New York financial mouthpieces (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal) provide bully pulpits for the most obscure, marginal characters, including a minor Hong Kong politician, a decrepit exiled Tibetan ‘holy man’ and a gaggle of Uighur terrorists!

Washington’s Ephemeral Proxies in Latin America

One of the most striking aspects of US empire-building is the ease with which it has secured proxies in Latin America… and how quickly they are undermined!

Over the past three decades the US propped up proxy military regimes, which were overthrown and replaced by independent governments in the last decade. These are currently being replaced by a new wave of neo-liberal proxies - a motley collection of corrupt thugs and elite clowns incapable of establishing a sustainable imperial-centered region.

A proxy-based empire is a contradiction in terms. The Latin American proxies are too dependent on outside support, lacking mass internal popularity and roots. Their very neo-liberal economic and social policies are unable to stimulate the industrial development required grow the economy. The Latin American proxies are mere predators, devoid of historical entrepreneurial skills of the Japanese and the disciplined nationalist ideology of the Turks.

In that sense, the Latin American proxies more closely resemble the Philippine ruling oligarchy: They preach submission and breed subversion. Proxy instability and policy shifts emerge as powerful forces to challenge the US empire - whether the Chinese in Asia or domestic internal conflicts - like the Trump phenomenon in the US.


Imperial wars continue . . . but so does an upsurge in domestic instability, mass rejection of imperial policies, regional conflicts and national wars. The decline of the empire threatens to bring on an era of intra-proxy wars - multiple conflicts, which may or may not benefit the US empire. The war of the few against the many is becoming the war of the many against the many. But what are the choices in the face of such historic shifts?

Only the emergence of truly class-conscious organized mass movements can offer a positive response to the coming deluge.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.Please see his latest book: “The end of the Republic and the Delusion of Empire”, Clarity Press 2016 ISBN 978-0-9972870-5




Why US Had to Kill the Syrian Ceasefire


by Finian Cunningham





Will Russia Surrender?

by Paul Craig Roberts

September 20, 2016 "Information Clearing House" -  -  The Russian government’s sincere and diligent effort to prevent chaos in Syria and additional massive refugee flow into Europe, all the while avoiding conflict with Washington and its vassals, has been brought to an end by Washington’s intentional attack on a known Syrian army position, thus wrecking the cease fire agreement that Russia sacrificed so much to achieve.

The response to this fact by the Obama regime’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, reveals that Washington will lie to the hilt in order to achieve its agenda of reducing Syria to the same chaos as Washington has reduced Iraq and Libya. Washington, and Washington alone, is responsible for the war in Syria. When the British Parliament and the Russian government blocked Obama’s intended US invasion of Syria, the Obama regime armed and financed jihadist mercenaries to invade Syria, pretending that the jihadists were Syrian rebels fighting for democracy in Syria. Samantha Power turned history upside down and blames the war on Russia’s intervention at the request of the Syrian government against the ISIL jihadists that Washington sent to destabilize Syria. What Samantha means is that if Russia had not come to the aid of Syria, Washington and ISIL would already have destroyed Syria, and there would be no war.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, said that in his 40 years of diplomacy he had never seen such a high-handed and demagogic performance as Samantha’s. Churkin seemed to imply that such an unrealistic and twisted response to known facts as Samantha delivered leaves him without hope of any successful diplomatic outcome.

If the Russian government has finally arrived at the conclusion that Washington is determined to destroy political stability in Syria and to replace it with chaos, it has taken a long time.

The Russian government has studiously avoided this conclusion, because once diplomacy is acknowledged as useless, force confronts force. In today’s context that means thermo-nuclear war and the end of life on Earth.

This is the reason that the Russian government has replied diplomatically to Washington’s coercive provocations, offering Washington cooperation in place of conflict.

However, Washington wants conflict. The Russians have pretended that Washington has a common interest with Russia in combating terrorism, but terrorism is Washington’s tool for destabilizing Syria, then Iran, and then the Muslim provinces of the Russian Federation and China.

Washington wants hegemeny not cooperation. Now that Samantha Power has made this so clear that the Russian government can no longer pretend otherwise, what will Russia (and China) do?

If Russia and China are not ready for the war that Washington is bringing to them, will they retreat in the face of the aggression, sacrificing Syria, the break-away Russian provinces from Ukraine, and the various disputed island issues in the Pacific Ocean while they gather their strength? Or will they decide to break-up the NATO alliance by making the cost of conflict very clear to Washington’s European vassals? Clearly, Europe has nothing to gain from Washington’s aggression against Russia and China.

Or is Russia unable to do anything now that diplomacy is a proven dead-end?

Perhaps this is the over-riding question. As far as someone who is not a member of the Russian government can tell, Russia is not completely in control of its destiny. Elements in the Russian government known as “Atlanticist Integrationists” believe that it is more important for Russia to be part of the West and to be integrated into the Western system than to be a sovereign country. They argue that if formerly great powers, such as Great Britain, Germany, and France, can profit from being American vassals, so can Russia.

Atlanticist Integrationists claim that Russia’s strategic nuclear capability and land mass means that Russia can maintain some sovereignty and only partially submit as a vassal. One problem with this position is that it assumes the neoconservatives are content with less than complete hegemony and would not capitalize on Russia’s weakened position to achieve full hegemony.

The Russian government probably still has hopes that at least some European governments will recognize their responsibility to avoid war and exit NATO, thus removing political cover for Washington’s aggression. Possibly there is some such hope, but the main European political figures are bought-and-paid-for by Washington. As a high US government official told me as long ago as the 1970s, “we own them; they belong to us.”

Not much hope can be found in the European media. Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published a book in which he said that every significant European journalist was on the CIA’s payroll. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-28/top-german-journalist-admits-mainstream-media-completely-fake-we-all-lie-cia

With politicians and media bought off, where can European leadership come from?

Europeans have become accustomed to their role as hired vassals. As no European politician or newspaper editor can assume that an act of rebellion would succeed, they are more likely to enjoy their life enriched by American gratuities than to take a risk for humanity.

The wider question is whether the extant socio-politico-economic systems can act in behalf of humanity. It is not clear that capitalist civilizations are capable of being humane, because worth is based on money, which makes greed and power the overpowering factors. It is possible that human evil and incompetence have destroyed not only the planet’s environment but also humane social systems. Globalism is not a scheme for cooperation. It is Washington’s scheme for American domination.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost

, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.





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